The general understanding of the role of the architect is that he creates architecture, but that is not enough. This role requires much more. He must be good in technology; to have a vision and to create a business strategy; to be a good organizer, listener and an excellent time manager; a good consultant and a motivating leader…Yes, people have big expectations of the architect. It’s not only the CAD drawings, as you can see. Experience has an influence on all of these areas but the success of the architect role depends on skills and personal characteristics. We can only work on our skills to be better.
Every experienced architect knows that his role involves a lot of things not just technical activities, so there are several domains of competency that figure prominently in this role.
1. Technology – Technology activities include defining the architecture vision, creating and experimenting with alternative architectural approaches, creating models and interface specification documents, preparing architectural documents and presentations and analyzing technology trends.
So, this person has technical roots, but he is also a person with competence on the whole system. We can emphasize the ARCH in the word architect, not just the TECH.
2. Business Strategy– An architect needs to have solid understanding of the company`s business strategy. He has to translate business strategy into technical vision and to capture the client and the organizational business requirements of the architecture.
3. Organizational Politics – In terms of the organization, the architect has to know who the key players in the organization are. This means listening, networking, influencing and selling the vision.
4. Consulting – As a consultant has to understand what clients want and need from the architecture and help them to see the value of the architecture. At the other hand, he is also mentoring junior architects.
5. Leadership – The domain of competency which organizes all the others is leadership. An architecture team without a leader goes nowhere. The leader has to motivate the team to do their best work. But first, they have to see him as a credible leader.
As we can see, the architect’s role is very challenging. Although technology and business strategy skills form the base of the architect, the real challenges are organizational politics, consulting and leadership. If the challenges inherent in architecting are the kind that appeal to you, then this role has great rewards.
The most important is to have a job which you have always wanted!